I’m very, very excited about this week’s Ask the Experts. Why? Because we’ve got another new Expert on the panel! And you know what that means: new knowledge, new experiences, and new ideas. Welcome to Claire from STA Travel Brighton, who joins Sarah from our Covent Garden store, and Paul from STA Travel Aberdeen in our all new line up.
We’ve got a great question for Claire’s first week, one that should resonate with all you worker bees out there:
I want to do a round the world trip, but I can only get a month off work. How can I make the most of my time away? I definitely want to go to Australia, but am open to ideas for other destinations. Jennie in London
Ah, I know the feeling, Jennie. Experts, can you give Jen some light at the end of her tunnel? Can she go on a round the world trip AND keep her job? Let’s find out.
Claire Whittington at STA Travel Brighton says…
I would recommend making the most of the great stopovers you can get on the way to Australia, Jennie. Why not head straight for Johannesburg, South Africa for a 4-day Kruger and Private Game Lodge Safari. What other stopover would give you great weather, yummy South African Braiis (BBQs) AND lions, rhinos and elephants? Plus, with only an hour time difference between here and the UK, you can get straight into enjoying yourself instead of catching up on sleep.
From here you can head Down Under, and go via Perth to the Red Centre to experience all that Outback Australia has to offer: camp under the stars, listen to ancient Aboriginal stories and marvel at sunset over Uluru.
Watch the sunset at Uluru, an experience not to be missed
After this, the east coast is a natural next stop, for diving at the Great Barrier Reef, cuddling koalas at Australia Zoo and testing your nerves with a Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. And don’t forget my personal favourite… seeing the iconic Ramsey Street and meeting your favourite Neighbours stars on the Neighbours tour in Melbourne!
After all that, you’re going to need some beach time, so treat yourself to some well deserved r and r. Not only so you’ll be completely ready to go back to work, but also so your colleagues will be super jealous of your tan! So head to Fiji and blow your budget on a traditional beach front Bure at the Outrigger on the Lagoon.
Fiji: did someone say paradise beaches?
Take advantage of the butler service, 7 restaurants and bars, or relax with a facial at the spa. All this and I’ve not even mentioned the gorgeous beach you can spend your last few days chilling out on!
Sarah Jones at STA Travel Covent Garden says…
If Australia is a defo, Jennie, then I would dedicate most of your time there; it’s a fantastic place and a ginormous island, after all!
Why not start somewhere a little bit different like Darwin in the Northern Territory; here you get to see a bit of real rugged Australia, where the weather is hot and dry (apart from the wet season!), the soil is deep red and the people have a certain charm.
You could spend a good 2 weeks exploring your way through the natural wonders of the Northern Territory; around Kakadu National Park, Katherine Gorge, and Kings Canyon down to Alice Springs.
From here you could work your way south down to the state of South Australia, where the Flinders Ranges lye and wine regions of the Barossa Valley roam. Next on route is the south east coastline towards Victoria, otherwise known as the Great Ocean Road, which holds some of Australia’s most beautiful spots, such as the Twelve Apostles and Wilson’s Promontory.
Not your average country drive, hey?
Once in Victoria you have to experience buzzy Melbourne – home to great coffee, international cuisine and loads of art and culture. Sydney is obviously one on most travellers’ Aussie bucket lists so why not make your way up to here and finish with the iconic Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour.
A great way to do an itinerary such as this is the 22-day Darwin Safari to Sydney trip. You’ll get the most out of the NT, South Australia and Victoria, meaning you won’t miss a thing!
You mentioned that you wanted to explore other destinations. Well, how about a week in Japan en route home?
Experience a whole new culture in Japan
A complete culture clash to Australia, Japan reveals a stunning mix of traditional oriental wonders, from its temples, to its gardens and winding alleyways, to the super-modern, seen in Japan’s bullet trains, high-rises and great shopping. Feeling active? You could Climb Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, and marvel at the views from the summit, and finish your trip on the ultimate high.